Five “on-trend” food products to help shape the food and beverage sector in 2010

Posted by Daniel Palmer on 11th January 2010

As the New Year begins, talk has turned to trends for the coming year and there are some interesting on-trend food products entering the mainstream in the US that could yet make an impact in Australia.

The Center for Culinary Development (CCD) and Packaged Facts, trend trackers in America for the last six years, have made five predictions of specific food product trends that will be a topic of conversation for food professionals in the year ahead.

Using their 5-stage Trend Mapping technique – Stage 1 being the emerging phase and Stage 5 a mainstream presence – the researchers identified the following trends as having an impact on menus and grocery shelves in 2010…

Parisian Macarons: Stage 2 – The pastel-coloured French sandwich cookie is made of ground almond meringue and flavoured buttercream or ganache fillings, making for a beyond-tender and flavourful sweet treat. Originally a delicacy even in France, macarons with many different fillings – ranging from sweet to savoury – can be found in high-end bakeries and gourmet-food retailers worldwide. A contender to the cupcake?

Street food: Porchetta: Stage 2 – Dubbed “slow-cooked Italian fast-food” by Porchetta in New York City, this Roman street food consists of stuffed pork roast often cooked over a wood fire. Served as a fat, round slice with crispy skin or in a sandwich, porchetta is just one example of traditional global street foods that will be proliferating in 2010 as consumers fall for traditionally made foods with big flavours off the street.

Tonkatsu: Stage 2 – Katsu is the Japanese version of German schnitzel, the breaded and deep-fried cutlet; tonkatsu is the pork version coated in panko breadcrumbs. Typically, it is found in bento boxes, in sandwiches and on top of rice covered in Japanese curry sauce. As Japanese cuisine becomes more mainstream, tonkatsu will easily cross over to become this year’s imported darling.

Global sandwiches: Banh Mi: Stage 3 – The savoury Vietnamese sandwich, which has been attracting Stage 1 and 2 followers for years now, garnered great attention in 2009 in New York City as a multitude of dedicated banh mi sandwich shops opened. In 2010, expect the baguette sandwich stuffed with pickled carrots and daikon, cilantro and a variety of savoury meats, such as pâté or BBQ pork, to really arrive.

Waffles as Carriers: Multiple Stages – While using waffles in a sandwich isn’t totally new, expect to see them more often for breakfast, lunch and dinner sandwiches. Chefs will add herbs, spices and flavourings beyond maple to marry the breakfast favourite with new sweet and savoury fillings.

The market potential for on-trend new foods and beverages remains significant, with diverse segments ranging from Gen Y teens to savvy Gen X parents and sporty Boomers looking for what’s next in healthful, authentic and premium. Because of this diversity in consumer demographics and psychographics, the food and beverage market is an arena with plenty of room for growth and innovation, the researchers concluded.